TonyLB asked me to start this new thread to expand on things I said about 'emo' and 'drama queens' in the My Beef With Graham
To paraphrase myself: I have certain friends who, in real life, faced with no conflict or opposition, will gladly initiate strife.
I called them 'drama queens'. This does spice-up life, just like more adversity spices-up a game.
But I also used the pejorative term 'emo posturing' to describe this, as-in: the cliche of a privileged suburban kid who sings about angst and suffering;
because they think it makes them sound interesting/ dark/ sensitive/ profound/ punk/ whatever. Despite the kid's lack of actual external adversity.
I applied this to story games by saying that systems which ask players to author adversity for their own character-- are too close for my comfort--
to asking us to indulge in emo/drama-queen smoke & mirrors.
Whereas systems which generate adverse results mechanically (or via the actions of a different player than the one controlling the affected-character)
allow each player to embrace their own character's interest unequivocally.
I raised all-this in defense of games which DO dictate a win/lose result, beyond the control of the affected PC's player.
Regardless of whether that player would have preferred to explore the other outcome.
I'm talking about games which which DON'T 'empower' players to shop
between outcomes and choose freely (with mechanical consequences)
whichever outcome suits their desired-direction for the story to progress.